General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Blind people - are we still supposed to help them across the street?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19041points) August 23rd, 2010

If you see someone blind and they’re crossing the street or unsuccessfully trying to find their way somewhere, are you supposed to help them, or is that patronizing and insulting to their sense of self-sufficiency?

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15 Answers

kenmc's avatar

It couldn’t hurt to ask if they’d like some help.

shego's avatar

It never hurts to ask, especially when you see they need it. The might decline, and later they might ask someone else.

muppetish's avatar

There are quite a few blind students attending my university. They always have a cane or seeing eye dog with them (with the exception of one or two faculty members who are usually accompanied by an aid.) If you see someone blind who does not have any type of aid with them, or appears to be struggling to find the path with their cane, then I would ask them whether they want any help (not whether they need help.) Be sure to stand nearby (but not too close), speak with an even tone, and don’t apologize if they decline your help. Just wish them well and be on your way.

That way, neither party feels awkward :) I’ve often found they will smile and thank me warmly whether they accept or decline help. It’s all in how we go about our interactions.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think it’s always good manners to offer help to anyone who might need it. I’m pretty short and I always appreciate someone offering to reach something for me when they see me leaping and leaping like some kind of demented flea.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @JilltheTooth. I always ask people if they would like some help when it seems like they are having difficulty with something.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@muppetish Ok, cool. It’s my first day back at school after a few years, and I saw a blind kid getting directions to one of the buildings from another student, but I figured since I was going there anyway I should offer to take him with me – but then, after I dropped him off at the bookstore, I started getting really paranoid that I’d been really rude and insensitive.

muppetish's avatar

@papayalily I don’t think that was rude or insensitive. With any student asking for directions (whether they are blind or not), if I am headed in that direction I will offer to escort them and inform them where the designated map and help desks on campus are located in case they need information in the future. From my perspective, you treated him with the same level of politeness that should be extended to everyone.

@JilltheTooth I’m small, too. Nobody ever offers me help! Then they giggle when I stand on chairs to try and reach what I’m after. This isn’t second grade, people!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@muppetish Oh, thank God. That’s what I thought to, but sometimes I get a little carried away with the fear of a social faux pas.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t think an offer of help should ever be taken to be rude or insensitive. If the person wants to be independent they can always decline to be helped.

Blackberry's avatar

I’d simply ask if they wanted the help first.

Your_Majesty's avatar

If they’re clean and look like a good person then I would be more than happy to help them. No offense,but people these days just don’t really want to help people that look like dirty bums,they simply don’t want to be infected by disease.

NaturallyMe's avatar

It would be a stranger world if it should ever be considered taboo to ask someone who is obviously struggling, if you can help them….

downtide's avatar

If they looked like they were lost or struggling, I would ask if they wanted help. It’s only down to sheer good luck that I don’t need a white cane or a guide dog myself.

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